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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Harken MK-IV Furler - What I like...
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Thread: Harken MK-IV Furler - What I like... Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-30-2011 07:52 PM
MarkSF I recently suffered a nasty halyard wrap at the top of my cruising furler. Not Harken's fault, the installing boatyard ignored Harken's installation instructions which clearly say you should have a halyard restrainer if the angle between halyard and forestay is less than some no. of degrees.

So when installing either Mk IV or Cruising look closely at the halyard and ask yourself if it might ever get caught up on the furler. The recommended halyard restrainer is only about $50 anyway and it sure beats bobbing up and down in the middle of SF bay wrapping the jib around the furler by hand. In worse weather it could have been VERY entertaining.

Also the furling line is much easier to get along with if you have Harken's recommended ratchet block. It makes unfurling the jib controllably and progressively much easier when the wind is strong.
09-30-2011 01:30 PM
LifeWorthLivin
Don't believe the hype

Replying to an old post here, but I would just like to respond to some statements that I find incorrect or misleading so this will be a little lengthy. Looking at a product on a web page or in a catalog and seeing it in person are very different things, and from reading as much information that I could find on the web about the Harken Cruising furler, I found that 95% of people who had an opinion had never seen one in person. In my search to choose the right furler, I read everything I could find and talked to 3 different technical people at Harken before finally taking their recommendation and ordering the Cruising Unit 2

First, let me back up and give the important info. This furler is going on a Passport 47 which is a big, heavy, cruising boat which I plan to take offshore, so my first requirement was robust construction. There has been some talk about pricing here, which is where the Cruising Unit 2 really makes sense for me. Then MKIV Unit 2 extrusion will only fit over 3/8" wire because it's designed to be lower profile, so I would have to step up to the MKIV unit 3 which is almost twice as much as the Cruising Unit 2 which will accept my 7/16" wire. So this was the first big sell for me, but I was very worried about construction given the difference in price. So, I called Harken 3 times to talk to different people who all said that they would spec the Cruising Unit 2 for my boat or a brand new Passport 470 for that matter. Their explanation was that the MKIV units are more expensive because of the extra engineering that goes into them to make them lighter and better for racing and that racers will just pay more for lighter stuff. Also, with my rigging wire size I got caught in a scenario where I would have to spend much more if I wanted the MKIV features. Here are the differences that they quoted:

MKIV
-Lighter extrusion sections to reduce weight aloft with 2 sail tracks, aerodynamically shaped to disturb flow less
-Furling drum is plastic in 2 halves so that it can be removed and the sail tracks can be used like a normal luff track for racing
-Upper swivel is lightened to reduce weight aloft
-Independently swiveling tack for better sail shape when reefed

Cruising Unit
-Stronger extrusion sections with single sail track, rounded for easier furling
-Heavier, stronger upper swivel
-Furling drum is Aluminum with a plastic top plate

So the main feature for me to consider was the independent tack swivel thing which was tempting, but not at the expense of durability, and not for twice the price. So, I decided to trust the folks at Harken and ordered it along with the quite pricey long link kit that raises the drum off the deck so that it isn't in the way of anchoring gear. Upon arrival, I can tell you that I was impressed. With most of the parts being matte black, it can look kind of plasticky in pictures, but that is all black anodized Aluminum. The extrusion pieces are beefy and very nicely machined. The toggle is a massive piece of cast stainless. Both swivel units are really nicely machined, black anodized Aluminum. It was installed last weekend and I am very pleased with the construction and operation of this unit.

In conclusion, I would just like to say that while the internet is a great resource and there are many good people out there with good information you obviously have to take much of it with a grain of salt. Especially with something like a furling unit where you can't typically just go down to the nearest marine store and "kick the tires" and very few people have actually seen things side by side, apples to apples. Calling Harken directly was really the clincher, and I had to get 3 of their employees to tell me the same thing before I would believe it. I hope that this helps anyone else looking for the same info. I think Harken makes good stuff and both are well made, they just have a different audience.

K Stewart
08-14-2008 10:10 PM
T37Chef My bad...The 5200 must be new, I still have the tube of locktite supplied with mine when purchased...summer 07
08-14-2008 07:15 PM
121Guy
Harken

In my experience they are one of THE BEST companies in the marine industry.

Their customer support is only exceeded by their design excellence.

121 Guy
08-14-2008 06:45 PM
J36ZT Yep, everything is included in the MKIV kit except a hacksaw, file, and a pair of plyers.

Otherwise, it comes complete with a tube of 3M-5200 (more than you'll need), a 20cc syringe, allen-wrenches, all the hardware and assorted pieces of the MKIV, and the installation guide. Oh, I forgot one other important item...about 75' of the cheapest crappiest line that has ever been invented.
08-13-2008 06:50 PM
Maine Sail
Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
I think you meant "Lock tite"
No, he did mean 5200. Harken supplies 5200 and a syringe to squirt in the screw holes and between the foils.

I used 4200 as 5200 is not even allowed on my boat..
08-13-2008 05:02 PM
T37Chef
Quote:
Originally Posted by J36ZT View Post
squirt some 5200 down some holes
I think you meant "Lock tite"
08-13-2008 04:23 PM
J36ZT Midlifesailor,

You may want to double-check the length of the forestay as compared to the overall length of the MKIV Unit 1. The "COMPU-SPEC" advised me to order an extra foil length and connector that I ended up not needing.

With the forestay off the boat, the MKIV can easily be assembled in an hour or two. I'm the kind of person who's reluctant to pay someone $75+ to follow an instruction manual, turn an allen wrench, and squirt some 5200 down some holes...so I did it myself. The only really technical part of the installation comes when/if you have to cut the final foil (hacksaw and file are not included in the kit). Really, it's that easy to get the MKIV onto the forestay. I didn't have to get/install the line kit, but can guess this might take an additional hour or two.

Fair winds/following seas,

Marshall
Skipper, J/36 "Zero Tolerance"
08-13-2008 03:22 PM
PalmettoSailor I wanted to thank Halekai and T37 for the input on the MKIV. It put me on the right track and after speaking to Harken, I know what furler I'll be installing; A Harken MKIV Unit 1. I'll need an extra foil and connector and the correct toggle, but other than that I should be good to go.

The jury is out on having my sailmaker install it, or going the DIY route. The quote is down to what I consider a semi-reasonable amount ($700) over the P-yacht materials cost and that includes a new headstay so I figure about $450-500 labor cost.
08-05-2008 10:01 PM
jrd22 Halekai- thanks for the info. on the MK IV. I just installed one on our Brewer 40 (unit 2) and altough I haven't had time to use it much, I'm very happy so far. I agree about the lousy line they supply with it, I can't get a good grip on it and have had to use the winch when reefing. Did you install the roller lead kit, we just ran the furling line through rings on the outboard side of the stanchions and I'm wondering if there is a significant reduction in friction with their lead kit? I was pretty sold on the Schaeffer, but my rigger convinced me that Harken was the way to go, and so far I am very satisfied.

John
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